Facebook has acquired Servicefriend, reports from Israel indicate. Servicefriend is a chatbot builder that leverages artificial intelligence with a human factor. According to the reports, Servicefriend should help Calibra to run smoothly.
Servicefriend to facilitate the Libra project
In June, Facebook launched revealed details about Libra, a cryptocurrency aimed at roping the unbanked into the global financial system. Notably, the social media giant explained in the release that Libra would let users transact at almost insignificant fees. Through the Libra platform, users would also conveniently transact pseudonymously. In the cryptocurrency’s white paper, Facebook explained that users could use Libra with third-party digital wallets or opt for the company’s own Calibra.
For starters, Calibra is a cryptocurrency wallet app. According to the white paper, the app will exist independently and come built within Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp. Essentially, the idea is to ensure that Facebook captures its primary market to popularize the cryptocurrency. While releasing the details of the cryptocurrency, the company assured potential users that Libra would be available by 2020. According to Facebook, the governance structure of Libra encompasses all the founding members of the Libra Association. This is to say that entities like Andreessen Horowitz and Uber will have governance powers like Facebook’s within the Libra ecosystem.
While confirming the news of Servicefriend’s acquisition, TechCrunch speculated that the most obvious application of the chatbot builder is for “building a bot — or more likely, a network of bots — for the customer service layer for the Calibra digital wallet that Facebook is developing.” This is an indication that Facebook is laying the red carpet for grand unveiling of Libra. The cryptocurrency will facilitate transactions such as moving money to peers, and settling bills.
Fears over the Libra project’s launch
Nevertheless, it remains to be seen if people will adopt Libra. This is because the cryptocurrency promises to handle services which people consider highly private but the company behind the project is has had several run-ins with authorities on matters data privacy. Just over a week ago, the US Congress via the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee requested information from Facebook regarding an ongoing investigation. Some of the issues the Congress seeks to address concern Facebook’s privacy practices.
In addition, there are fears concerning the kind of reception Libra will get. Already, two of the most important economies in the EU have overtly rejected the Libra project. Notably, Germany and France said that Libra could destabilize the EU economy if allowed to launch.
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